Supermoon will occur Saturday night -especially if Scotland win the rugby!

‘Supermoon’ Will Occur Saturday Night

CS - Full Moon Optical Illusion Gordon Gillet / ESO

On Saturday afternoon, the moon will be the closest it’s been to Earth in more than 18 years. The “supermoon,”as observers have dubbed it, will appear Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET at a distance of 221,565 miles away. It will appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than your average full moon, weather permitting. The reason why the moon will be so much closer is due to a fluke of orbital mechanics. But don’t be alarmed: Although the supermoon will result in a dramatically large range of high and low ocean tides—which could result in flooding problems if combined with a coastal storm at the same time—it won’t cause a natural disaster.

Christmas does your head in? Well it did my back in.

Slumped Nellie my couch potato pal

So there we were Christmas Eve running about like dafties. The restaurants were open so tanking around getting stuff sorted for them, Mum arrived up for Christmas with her dog Nellie lurcher so I take on the mantel of entertainer, shopper and carrier of all goods, dogs, bags, food, boxes and bottles (of which there were many).

All’s well until 6pm I am sitting cross legged in the bedroom having commenced the wrapping of the stuff when my back  began to feel a little achy.

So as I bent a little , stretched a little reached for the sellotape – BANG I was down.

After lying for a couple of minutes I managed to roll onto my side and shout in a wholly pathetic voice ‘help’.



And Out.

I lay still until I as hoisted into bed where I lay cursing and sipping Lemsip – I like the taste it’s my paracetamol guilty pleasure and thought yeh yeh it’s sore but so what I will be fine tomorrow.

Christmas Day good morning. I can’t get up. I can’t move. I am bedded. After a couple of hours I am hoisted but feel awful and am reclined once again.

So Christmas Day the long suffering husband, teenwolf and Mum all jangled and sparkled as planned went off to friends for lunch as  I, the pathetic shark, lay prone by now on the couch with 3 dogs, a packet of painkillers and the remote control.

I started with A Christmas Carol and then watched It’s A Wonderful Life as I lay there alone, with texted photos of my family having a lovely festive lunch, playing charades and drinking I allowed myself a self indulgent snotter. As it took me 20 minutes to crawl to the loo for a pee and about 30 minutes to get back.

Things are a little better and yesterday I managed a temporary returnto vertical to go to a friends party for a couple of hours. The glamorous folks towered over me as I stood in the baggy black breeks, and flat boots with a gate that looked as though I had a wooden stake up my bum. The long suffering husband was dealing with the aftermath of a break-in at Howies so he gamely offered to collect mum and I in the car on his way back.

He did so at about 4pm. He came in, had a drink, said Merry Christmas to everyone and then announced he had to go as he as on a double yellow line.
God you’ve been on it for ages I said you’ll have a ticket.

I hope not he grinned.

When I went downstairs in the lift I saw a small gathering round the car window and I hurpled over to see what they were looking at. As you can see the sympathy in this house is well and truly over.

Eulogy for our dear friend Fiona Mary McHardy.

Fiona Mary McHardy.

Born on the 2nd July 1962 Nursing Home, at Queens Cross which as her mum Sylvia said just the other day was her spiritual home – in more ways than one of course as it became the original Dizzys. A great bar and favourite of Fiona from an early age.

An expression I have heard many people use to describe Fi is that she was a force of nature, the life and soul of the party, a girl with real get up go.

So at what stage did these traits begin to appear?

When talking to John and Sylvia it seems – from day 1.

With one lovely daughter Susan, it was a joy when a second,  Fiona arrived.

And it didn’t take long for Susan to realise her wee sister might just be a bit of a handful.

When Fi was 4 years of age, John took  Susan and herself to the Gordon College  swimming pool.  Sylvia wasn’t allowed in of course it was men only – so John was in charge of getting the girls changed and taking them for a swim. It was apparent from the moment they got there. Fiona was just  dying to get in and Susan was dying to get out.

Neither of them could swim which was why  John was quite a surprised when he took his eye of Fi for just a moment only to find she had wheeched up the steps and jumped off the top diving board   – as I said she couldn’t swim but she jumped in anyway. A metaphor for the way Fi lived her life.

Of course John her dad bungee jumped off a gorge in New Zealand for his mid 60’s so it’s clear who Fi took after!

Other sporting pursuits the girls enjoyed included.

Horse riding …the first time they went riding they had a break half way through and Susan refused to get back on the horse again so came home in a jeep and  of course they couldn’t get Fiona off the horse at the end of the day.

Interestingly skiing which was a shared passion for both sisters but something Fiona didn’t take to immediately. Although this could have something to do with the fact it was freezing and blowing horizontal rain when they were introduced to the sport in Aviemore,. As Sylvia told me ‘once Fiona got into the Little Tarmigan Restaurant she flatly refused to come out.’

I am sure we can all identify with times over the years where we have been in restaurant or bars with Fi when she has refused to get out..

It was clear from this early age though the McHardy sisters were inseparable. So alike in some ways – yet polar opposites in the other.

Susan being the older sister kept an eye on her wee sister as much as she could with Fi and from day one they shared a unique bond.

The one time when they were separated was by year groups at school.

Fi was at Hazelhead Primary and then onto Cults Academy where we first met and despite that being 40 years ago I can honestly say with my hand on my heart that we only ever fell out once.  And I’m not proud to say it was over a man. If you can call Donny Osmond a man.?

And was my fault.

I had promised Fi the life size Donny Osmond poster that was being sent from the Osmond fanclub and when it arrived I thought it was so gorgeous I refused to hand it over. She did forgive me, but as you can imagine it took time.

It was at school Fi  began to make friendships that would last a lifetime.  And as ever with Fiona it was all about the social life, so to be honest the school days are a bit of a blur but the weekends certainly aren’t.

Even as a youngster she loved a party.

Her first regular party date was in this very Church. Queens Cross Hall on a Saturday evening at Rons Disco. Yes in this very Church Hall Fi and the girls would all gather in flared jeans, cheesecloth shirts, afghan coats and smelling of patouli oil to dance the night away. Then when 10cc I’m not in love came on there was a thundering of hooves as all the girls ran for the loos as all the boys came lurching over to ask for a slow dance.

Getting ready to go out on a Saturday night with Kate Bush blasting out in her bedroom we got up to all sorts.

We either stayed at her house here in Carden Place or my folks place in Cults. We had a good degree of freedom with a few rules – one of which was no hitchhiking.

So there we were standing at the side of the road in Cults hitchhiking when this car pulled up. Just as we were about to jump into it, another car pulled up behind . It was my Dad…’you two get into this car’ he said..’what on earth do you think you’re doing?’

‘Its OK’  said Fi pointing into my handbag which I hurriedly opened ‘Alisons got a knife’  which was my cue to pull out the massive kitchen knife we had stashed into my bag in  case of emergency.

‘Get in the car’ said my dad as he drove Fi home  and we both got a rocket.

Sundays in winter were spent skiing at Glenshee. Getting up at 7am to get the ski club bus. Fi had usually eaten her packed lunch by 7.15am.  But days spent hurtling down a hill were just about as good as it got for the young Fiona.

Fi was always independent minded so next on her list was the driving license.

One of the few cross words between Fiona and her lovely Dad John allegedly took place when he bravely took Fi out for a few early driving  lessons. In fact she was left miles from home as a clenched John told her if she wasn’t going to do as he told her she could get out – so she did.

Of course she passed her test soon enough.

Then she was off to live in her own flat. Well not her own exactly as she had the dubious pleasure of sharing it with me. It was in Huntly St just down the road and we laughed recently recalling our mums came round to see it and neither of them would take their coats off.

We had no phone, there was ice on the inside of the windows  and we had no idea how to cook.  We regularly poisoned ourselves so just gave up cooking and lived off tequila and frozen birds eye  mini pizzas instead.

Though both working budgeting was not a strong point so we decided to rent out the lounge to a biker called Joe – who’s here today.

Fiona made friendships that lasted even all those years ago.

Working in those days was fun…well there were jobs…Fi worked in the oil companies, as a receptionist at the Malacaa, Aberdeen Glass and China, Aberdeen Journals and Bruce Millers Wine  Bar amongst others and from every one of those places she made friends.

Even all those years ago she worked to live – never the other way round – something that stayed with her always.

It was around this time that Fi did a Cordon Bleu Cookery Course and went off to do a season in the alps as a Chalet Girl.

And of course she was hooked and spent quite a few seasons on the slopes.

During one season Susan and Sylvia went out to visit. On day 1, Fi was working in the morning so Susan took Sylvia

out on the slopes.

Sylvia hadn’t skied for quite a few years  and was naturally rusty so Susie was very tentative with her, taking her onto low  slopes and making sure she was fine. They met up with Fi at  lunchtime and did the handover.

Sylvia was with Fi for the afternoon.

Within minutes they were on a black run…which Fiona  whizzed down and then realising her mum wasn’t with her stopped and looked back up  the slope where she was rigid with fear and frozen to the spot.

‘Come on mum’  shouted Fi ‘what are you frightened off/ Falling?’


At the end of the afternoon Susie came back to the chalet.

‘Where’s Mum?’ she asked Fiona.

‘’in the bath with a  brandy.’

As you know Fiona’s skiing was impeccable so when we heard on one of her sojourns to the alps she had broken her leg we all assumed it had been a dramatic dare devil black run skiing accident –  as opposed to the truth which was she’d been kicking her legs up in a bar enjoying the apres ski, when she slipped and broke it.  It was, as she would call it a DRI (drink related incident).

And despite the leg  Fiona adored her skiing  and a year without skiing wasn’t an option.  In fact earlier this year she was in Valdisere with her friends before swanning off to Les Gets.

As I said a year without skiing wasn’t an option.

For the last 20 years Fiona’s base has been Edinburgh. Of course there was  always a lot of dancing and partying  which was interrupted occasionally by that 4 letter word – work. Fi was very successful based in Edinburgh and working within the media and design industry for  Sorrel Publishing, News International, Tayburn and latterly 3 Brand .In fact 3 Brand have shut their whole office today and made the journey to Aberdeen join in this celebration of Fionas life.

During these years despite the fact Fiona was in Edinburgh and Susan in the west coast the two were still inseparable. When Susan married Stuart,  Fiona and Stuart hit it off so much so they have spent many holidays together – and with John and Sylvia too.

Of course Fi  couldn’t have been happier than when Archie and Mia were born, her beloved nephew and niece who she talked about proudly and loved so dearly.

Fiona was all about family and friends.

And looking round here today says more than I ever could about that. She had literally hundreds of friends. Not acquaintances. Not people whose faces she knew but whose names escaped her.  People who she loved and loved her right back.

From Aberdeen, Edinburgh, London,  USA,  Australia, Asia,  every ski resort in Europe….in fact I defy you to go to any ski resort in Europe and not be able to find someone who knew and loved our Fi.

I have received messages and long letters from people all over the world touched and saddened to hear about Fionas death as I know John, Sylvia, Susann and Stuart  have.

Jennifer & Simon Winfield  – Mum and Dad to Fionas Godaughter Caledonia in Australia although her Gran  Fayehas come up from Edinburgh to be here.

George, Naomi & Callum in Auckland, NZ

Russell & Amanda in Sydney, Oz

Andy Abram in Jakarta

They are the tip of the iceberg…but you get the idea.

Fi was diagnosed with breast cancer 7 years ago. Devastating news but from day one she just got on with it. No deep soul searching, she accepted what the Western General in Edinburgh told her and walked on.

Over the years Drs were openly amazed at how well she continued to be.

She defied what they saw on their screens to the point that one day when she swanned in looking fabulous on of her oncologists said quite simply ‘Fiona McHardy you are an enigma’

The definition of enigma is “a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation: “

There is no other explanation other than her ever remarked upon sprit..

And spirit is inexplicable .

Some folk have it, some folk don’t and then there’s another category all together….Fiona Mary Mchardy.

Her fighting spirit. Her lust for life. Joie De vivre whatever you want to call it – Fi had it in spades.

Even before she was ill that was how she lived her life –

She loved people.

She loved family.


She loved you.

She didn’t wait for tomorrow – she did it today.

Every day with Fi was a day lived.

She got up and got on.

Never complained – and I do mean NEVER.

Fi spent her last few weeks in Helensburgh surrounded by her  whole family.  Susan managed the endless stream of friends who wanted to visit and kept everyone fed, watered and well looked after whilst caring for her sister.

A special bond indeed.

One that will never be broken.

So although the tragedy of losing her is still so raw we can take some solace in the knowledge that our pal gave more, did more and was loved more in her 49 years than most people who live to be 100.

Our dear Fi, will be missed beyond comprehension

but as time moves on we know

the unique place that she holds in our hearts

will remain hers forever.

Fiona Mary McHardy – a dearest daughter, sister, aunt and friend.    An enigma.

Old Dog. No Teeth.



Contemplating the toothless life ahead

This is a recent photo of my old, hairy pal – half Womble Half Haggis Flora.The Greyfriars Bobby lookalike I have been lucky enough to spend the past 10 years living with.


Recently when she smiled – or yawned or just ate – she could clear a room. The world halitosis is one that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what was going on in that aging quadropeds chops.


In all honesty we were approached by various international warlords enquiring as to whether they could use her breath as a weapon of mass destruction but we declined. I love that smelly wee dog I said so away back to your despot nation and be done with it.


So I dropped her in to Victor the vet – the brave man with presumably gas mask and gauntlets took on the job. I picked her up several hours later, a shadow of her former self, standing but registering nothing in those drugged up eyeballs, 4 teeth and a large slice of gum lighter.


Sam going for an Oscar in the ‘nobody loves me’ category.

My wee pud stumbled around the garden like Oliver Reed on a Saturday night before collapsing in a fitful snoring coma for the next 12 hours.


Today – 2 days later – I can reveal she is back to waggy, smiley, cheeky and delightful. She is on soft food for 2 weeks – which  is annoying the hell out of Nice but dim Labrador Sam who cannot understand why she is still being fed hard fibrous nodules and the geriatric dwarf dog is getting Ceasar – which incidentally is the same price as roast beef as far as I can work out. Still……I’ll have to go an get some L’oreal shampoo because she is worth it.


The Debt – get into debt to see it.



I haven’t been to the cinema in ……………………..can’t even remember the last time. Probably last winter to be honest. There is something about sunny, or at least light days that make the light deprived Scot that I am gravitate to standing in open spaces with my face upturned to the sky in the hope a UV ray might find it occasionally. Today there was little point in doing that as I would have been rewarded with a few gulps of rain water, and a face like a well slapped bum.  Hello Autumn I thought as  we endured lashing rain, wild wind and light plummeting to dusky hues of gloom by 11am.

A chat with my frantic pal Frazer whose wee dog had spent the night lying on the floor in a fever with a dodgy hip and splootering tum proved he was also in need of some light relief. Then film buff pal Catherine also got in touch so we agreed to meet in a bar at 5pm and then head to the cinema.

After a soft drink – well it is Monday – we sloped into Vue Cinema.  By the time I bought a bottle of water, about 10 chocolate covered brazil nuts from the pick n mix and the ticket the shock of the bill nearly caused a seizure.

However, with dogs gastric problems and vile weather awaiting us at outside meant we threw caution – and our hard earned cash – to the wind and in we went to see The Debt.

Now I love Helen Mirren. I love her cos she’s a great actor. She’s got a great sense of humour. She looks amazing for her age and she hasn’t filled every crevice in her face with silicone by-products so has an expressive and beautiful face. That was the reason I wanted to see the film – yes I am that deep.

Well, it knocked my socks off. From the moment is started even my hair was clenched. A story in a nutshell is of 3  Israeli agents whose mission it is to capture an evil Nazi War Criminal and smuggle him  back to Israel in the 60’s to face charges of unspeakably vile crimes against humanity.

The young Mirren  has to confirm his identity and in order to do so she poses as a woman who cannot conceive thus allowing  herself to be be examined by this vile man. The speculum and stirrups had me diving into a box popcorn to stuff it into my face and distract myself. But if thrillers are your thing – then go. It’s seriously excellent with the cast consisting of acting royalty.  Here’s the trailer and don’t you think the guy on the right – Sam Worthington looks like a young Pierce Brosnan? Yum.

School uniform or the rent? They cost about the same.

The day before school goes back despite the fact Teenwolf is going into 5th year  and I should be more organised by now, we spent the afternoon in the shop looking for school trousers and the dreaded blazer. I went to the uniform exchange before the summer holidays but all the blazers there  look like someone had rolled them in dung, stuffed the pockets with rocks, chewing gum  and frogs  before making a large casting dog sleep on them for 6 months – just like Teenwolfs in other words so I didn’t bother. I bit the bullet – well the credit card and bought a new one.

The usual debacle in the shop. I was keen to buy him one big enough that even if he turns into Giant Haystacks  he wont grow out of it. On ther hand he  wanted  a body skimming, skin tight bomber jacket sort of effect, We compromised. I was paying so he did what he was told. For a change.

Then it was trouser world. Off to M&S  that wasn’t too painful but what was painful  was when I clocked the jeans he was wearing. They stopped at his ankles. His legs have grown another 2 “ in about 2 weeks so I said OK  I will have to  get you a pair of jeans but cheap and cheerful ones OK?

He grinned. OK.

Topshop was the venue. After baggy, thin, slim, skim and 50 other permutations were tried on an left bereft he got a pair. At the checkout the assistant asked ‘wouldd you like the hanger?’  I grinned ‘ no but if you have a square of carpet for him to fling them in a heap onto,  that would be good’

He had the good grace to smile.

Well I had been hoodwinked again. School uniform shopping and he comes back groovily trousered. I never learn.

Everyone has a drunken uncle….or in my case several!

Today the news is full of Obama’s drunken Uncle being pulled over in his car and telling anyone who would listen, who is nephew is and that ‘The Whitehouse would sort it out’ Guffaw. What an absolute clinker. As I lay in bed grinning at the cringe making behaviour I began to ask myself hasn’t everyone got a drunken uncle?

I did. In fact courtesy of my wild Dad I had quite a few. His oldest muckers – not blood relatives – his dearest pals – his real family. There are a few still careering round the world causing mayhem but several, including my Dad  are no longer with us but have left me with some of the funniest memories.

Sandy was one of his bestest chums  and a favourite bearded warrior. He  was a wild bear of a man with a singing voice like Caruso and  a laugh that would be picked up on a seismograph.

When Dad and him got together it was a case of light blue touch paper and retire fast. They sat up late, talking, drinking and entertaining anyone else who could take the pace. They chased me down the high street at the Banchory show with  police cones on their head when I was 16 and hormonal and embarrassed just being seen out in public let alone with adult boozers.  It took me years to get over it. Teenwolfess.

As I watch Teenwolf roll his eyes at me 6 times an hour I can only imagine what he would do if I was to revert to the behaviour of his Grandpa. Google Childline. Google Easyjet and get a one way ticket to anywhere fast. Hmmmn…

So Dad and Sandy were wingmen. From early days dressed in kilts hanging off balconies telling stories to anyone who would listen in France in the late 40’s to wild rugby days in Scotland and at  my Dad’s 70th birthday party and beyond  they just  loved life and lived every minute of it to the fool no I mean to the full.

Now I  regard them  as a template for life. Not as a terrible warning but a great example. No whispering, sensible, tight laced, upright, sssshhhhhhhhhhhh type behaviour. A celebration of  wild laughing, banjo playing, joke telling, singing, larger than life, bad dancing, FUN. There is a lot of beige in the world. I try not to add to it. In their memory.

Sandy’s granddaughter stayed with me at the weekend. Her Mum and Dad are a delight but I didn’t really know their daughter as she was brought up down South. The second I met her, the sparkle in the eyes, the quick wit and the zest for life made me realise that sad as it is these great old guys  have moved on it gives great comfort to see the elixir of their spirit very definitely lives on.

Teenwolf displays extreme affection in public.

Standing at the airport waiting for Teenwolf and his fellow rugby tourers to arrive back after 2 weeks playing rugby in South Africa. It felt like a long time. For us.

As we waited a few conversations with other parents were held.
Me ‘Did you hear from your one?’
Woman 1 ‘No’
Me ‘You? ’
Woman 2 ‘Nothing.’
Woman 3 ‘Oh I got a text from my one. Asking for money.’
Me ‘I texted Teenwolf and asked him how it was going and he texted his father ‘Tell Mum to back off!’’

Back off!?!@$% We were in different continents. If I backed off any further I’d have been on the Virgin Galactic Space Craft inaugural journey.

As fellow parents laughed at their lack of communication and acknowledged relief they were all back in one piece. The doors opened and 30 strapping lads were disgorged into the arrivals hall.

As Mums and Dads craned their necks to get a glimpse for their returning offspring they continued striding on straight to the carousel to retrieve their bags.

I caught Teenwolfs eye. He nodded. Barely perceptible to the untrained eye but if it’s all you’ve had in 2 weeks it feels like a warm embrace.

The joys of the teenager.

One Day

Remiss blogger alert. Me.
It has been mad here.
Something very exciting is happening so I have had my head deep in the land of sensible but I will tell all when I am allowed. When you sign a Disclosure Agreement it is practically like having your mouth glued shut. Not good for the likes of me…..however
I did write an article for The Sunday Mail at the weekend about One Day. The book by David Nicholls and now the film of the same name which is the talk of the steamie. If you read the book you might like to read it. If not then have a read anyway I have pasted in a nasty comment some geezer left on The Sunday Mail website which you might enjoy.

Here is the article.

OK, I confess. My name is Alison Craig and I don’t absolutely love One Day.
The world has gone mad for the book with the famous cover and now the film… but I don’t really understand why.
I read it ages ago and thought it was OK. Ish.
When I first heard the buzz about the imminent release of a film of a book called One Day, I even wondered if they were talking about the same one.
I am a complete book fiend and read lots. Not in a War and Peace sort of way but in a rollicking good plot, story and escapism sort of way.
I spend far too much money on books and hours perusing my next choice in book shops before devouring them with relish.
Part of the fun of finding a cracking book is sharing it with friends.
The moment I finish a great one I rave and rant about it and pass it on within hours. I read One Day in about a week – not exactly unputdownable – and when it was finished I just kind of thought, yeah. Fine. Next.
So hearing that readers around the world were being plunged into bouts of unstoppable sobbing and snottering puzzled me a little.
Am I a hard-hearted harridan? I don’t think so. The Kite Runner and Any Human Heart are just two recent books that were passed on to friends, warped by the excessive tears that fell as I wept my way to the last page.
Was it the subject matter? I am a middle-aged woman and the nostalgic references to music and politics of the day did evoke memories of a moment in time. Sadly, so did the male protagonist Dexter.
He’s a self-centred megalomaniac who perhaps reminded me of too many men I worked with in TV who were exactly that. I just didn’t like him.
Also having had many a friend mucked about by characters not dissimilar to Dexter and his personality disorder, I wanted the female protagonist, Emma, to get over him and get on with her life. I won’t spoil the ending if you haven’t read it. But, for one reason or another, she doesn’t.
The overall theme was familiar, maybe too familiar. It seemed to be playing straight into the hands of the mid-life crisis crowd, that ‘Is this it?’ feeling.
There were the questions, inevitably posed inwardly in the middle of the night. “Was the person I was madly in love with age 19 the one I should have stuck with after all? And, if so, would I be happier?”
As an author myself, I understand how hard it is to write and finish a book. It is a labour of love and I would never detract from Nicholls’ talent as a writer.
I have read his other novels – Starter For Ten and The Understudy – and really enjoyed them.
But, of the three, One Day is my least favourite.
The cynic in me also thinks One Day got more attention because it was written by a man.
If it had had a female author’s name on the front, it would have been slammed into the pigeonhole marked “Chick Lit” and largely ignored.
Plus if you want a geezer to write about relationships, I personally can’t see past Tony Parsons or Nick Hornby.
And now we have the film which can’t possibly live up to the book, which itself can’t live up to the hype.
But, like everyone else, I will probably end up going to see it… one day

And here is the charming comment a rather bitter little man left at the bottom of on The Sunday Mail website.
Richard1024 wrote:
“As an author myself ” hohohoho! One duff book about Aberdeen and a self-regarding book about your pregnancy doesn’t put you in the same league as the One Day best-selling author. Green eyed monster got to this one, for sure!

Plus the idea that a female name on a dust jacket is a way of getting ignored should amaze Jacqueline Wilson, Alice Sebold, Lynne Truss, Patricia Cornwell. Josephine Cox…

Do you think he sounds like a frustrated, unpublished, unhappy, writer? Yes me too.
For his info I did not write any book, duff or otherwise about Aberdeen – so not only is he bitter but he is wrong too. Ah well…..

Just a few ideas for Edinburgh today – if you fancy.

It is hard to come to Edinburgh and know where so start.

If you are looking for something  a bit different though. Saturday is  The Farmers Market  on Castle Terrace which makes you feel like you are in the south of France not Edinburgh. Then for the duration of August, right beside the market is the West end Fair which sits on the corner of Lothian road and Princes Street opposite the Caledonian hotel. A perfect place to get something unique to take home. There are textiles, bags, jewellery, and lots of great bits and pieces. There are literally dozens of stalls and lots of smiling faces to welcome you in. I popped in the other day and ended up getting some xmas shopping – odd  frankly. I am more of a Christmas eve shopper but I can recommend it from the ‘smug forward thinking shopper’ routine.

Then whilst you are at the West End stroll along to the West End Village  which consists of a few streets packed with one-off unique boutiques, shops, coffee shops. Well worth the 2 minute walk to get there – similar to Victoria Street this area fills you with hope that ‘the man’ is not taking over the for west end fair

Whilst we’re at it Thistle Street in the centre of the city which runs parallel to between George Street and Queen Street – also packed with great shops and restaurants. toady there is a special MIH jeans event  at Jane Davidson a chance to get a pair of jeans that don’t make my bottom look like three walrus wrestling in a duvet cover. I’m going.

Get out of town to East Lothian for a walk on the beach and a look at the ladies Golf Championship at Archerfield – flying the flag is local lass Catriona Matthews. Or up to Perth for the Horse Trials. Let’s hope they’re not found guilty.

Last but not least – best bars in town? Look no further – here’s the list. CLICK HERE

If you’re fringing enjoy – if you’re you now have an informed choice.

Whatever you are doing, let’s hope the sun keeps shining.